tv Charlie Rose WHUT June 30, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am EDT
>> rose: welcome to our program, we begin this eveng wit timothy garton ash, a histoan who talkabouthe global economy and the political winds that are blowing. >> there was a pew pole which asked exactly that question, will china become number one and from memory i think something like one-third of the americans asked said yes it will. so the perception is out there. but what i think is more likely to happen is that in asia chi seek it is hegemonic role and therefore i think the challenge to the united states will not be duly accepted that china takes over as number one but do you
accept that china becomes the hegemonic power in asia? >> rose: we continue with the question of whether environmental issues are national security issues with two members of conservation international, they e roger altman and peter seligmann. >> we believe in proof of concept. we believe that it's... you need to work in indonesia and you need to work in brazil, you need to work in liber and you need to work on the ground where a nation can see that we actually reduce deforestation we can have a diffent type of development path that's low carbon, that generates wealth and jobs. and so that kind of the thesis... our challenge is how do we create a market force that will engage tt? >> rose: timothy garton ash, roger altman, and peter seligmann when we continue.
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city, this is chare rose. >> rose: timothy garton ash, the noted oxford historian, joins us to auk about the global and the economic polical moment. greece is in crisis that may have pro found consequences for europe and the global economic order. there's also china and its economic juggernaut with enormous implications. here in the united states president obama negotiat for an extension in the debt ceiling and to find the balance between the demands of growth and the peril of debt. then there's also the arab spring which some believe to be the most conditions qenl shl event of political change in the 21st century. no one knows what the consequences of it will be. we're pleased to have timothy garton ash back on this program. he's spending themeum sr at stanford university and he has in paper back his book which is calledum "facts are subversive" which we talked about when he published in the hard back. i'm pleased to have him back at
this table. welcome. >> pleasure to be here. >> rose: let's talk about eece first. >> it could default andeave the euro. it could default and somehow stay in the euro. it could somehow fudge it so it doesn't que default but there's soft roover and a bit of bailout and a bit of austerity. nobody knows, but the important fact is that th crisis has been going on a very long time and there were no signs that the member stas of the european monetary union want to do what's really necessary which is to go another step forward, make a fiscal union which, in effect, means making more of a political union and that's the important fact. >> rose: so the need to go forward to make more of a political union, that's the important fact? >> well, listen, there's no effective monetary union in history which has lasted a long time without a supporting fiscal union and transfer union as in the united states, right?
so that that's the only way to secure this thing, really, for good for a long time. and that's what the people who created the european monetary union thought was going to happen but in the meantime, it's not what the the other europeans and in particular not what the germans wa to do. so that where we are and that's why it's a crisis not just for greece and portugal and the euro zone but for the whole european project. >> rose: and for the united states? >> well, and for everybody in the world economy because if the euro zone goes belly-up, that's to say greece and maybe one or two others ao down the tubes what that means is that t banksn german banks, french banks, britishbanks-- have a huge problem on their hands because they've been carrying load of this debt. if that has a knock-on effect,
if it is as people say, the lehman brothers of the european economy, then the largest single market in the world, a huge part of the world economy, is in deep crisis and the knock-on effects for the united states and china and... are huge. which is, by the way, china is starting to buy more european debt. >> rose: as it also begins to draw down its american debt. >> exactly so. exactly so. it sees itas a vital interest in diversifying out of the dollar, out of treasury bonds but also in helping the thing not to collapse. >> rose: in order for it not to have the worst scenario, wha has to happen? >> well... >> rose: beyond what you just said in terms of a fiscal union and a political union. >> basically the markets are not convinced that germany is prepared to save the thing. geany is the key to the whole thing. it is germany's economics... it's europe's economic superpower. it's europe'scentral power.
and they are not convinced that germany is prepared to do what it takes to save it. if you had germany and the european centr baogetr saying "this is at we're going to do." whatever it is in technal terms, this is about perceptions about, so to speak economic shock and awe. then you would have saved it. >> rose: where do you think angela merkel is on this today? >> she is also in many ways the key... pernally the keyo this crisis. she has been a brilliant party politician. she's magnificent at winning elections. but in this crisis, she's been following german public opinion rather than leading it. and german public opinion says we have been bankrolling the european union for far too long, we are not going to bail out
these indigent greeks. we're not going to work to age 70 so the greek cans retire at 58. >> rose: what role does sarkozy play? >> well, it'svery interesting because, you know, quite apart from the entertainment value which he always has because, as you know, historically in the european project there was the german engine and the french driver. >> rose: right. >> and what's happened now is that the german engine has, so to speak, got up into the driver's seat and actually sarkozy and the french are running along behind trying to keep the show on the road and trying to influence it. >> rose: from afar, how do you see our political system grappling with a debt ceiling-- so far unsuccessfully? >> you know, i come back to the united states every year for an extended period and so i see this country in kind of time-lapse photography. >> rose: right.
>> snapshots every year and it's really quite shocking to see the gradual relative decline, starting with the elementary fact of the decline in infrastructure. i mean roads, public transport, public goods. that a simple point. i would say that... and i say this in jest but oy partl in jest that between europe and the united states now it's kind of competitive decadence and we europeans are ahead of you for now but amera i doinguite a good job of catching up. >> rose: in decadence? >> in competitive decadence. i mean, in relatively decline. let's be cle about this. there's a number of dynamic emerging wers ou there-- china in the leadbut iia, braz, south africaith si, seven, eight, nine percent growth. and here we are limping along
behind. now what iee in the united states is a particular problem. now it's not surprising that a european uon of 27 sovereign states, nations, speaking different languages with different histories has a problem getting its act together. but it's quite shocking to see one nation, one state-- the united states-- having such difficulty getti its act together. and that, it seems to me... when they all agree on the problem they just can't agree on the solution. >> rose: exactly so. but a well-designed democracy has mechanisms for addressing that because people don't agree. that's what happens in democracy. you have parties. your problemit seems to me if i may say so, is that you have an increasingly dysfunctional political system-- both a the
federal level, meaning congress-- and in individual stat. think of california. and that's not aecessary feature of a liberal democracy, it's a particular problem of the united states. the problem is no longer george iii. (laughs) you don't need the system of checks and balances which was designed to prevent the return of british tierney is now preventing necessary reform. >> rose: that actually was solved when george washington decided not to seek a third term. >> indeed and, you know, george... i mean prince william, i think, is notn immediate threat to american democracy. >> rose: but there is the following thing that interests me which is the... a leadership of the president. this is a presidentnormously popular in europe, enormously popular around the world. how do you see his leadership skills? and do they contribute contribute to the dysfunctionality? >> let me say this.
obama was europe's candidate for president of the united states, as you know. we were entranced, infused. i was in washington on the night he was elected. it was a magical moment. there is without question-- and it was lovely to have him in europe a few weeks ago and he did a great job and so on. but there is a certain sense of disappointment. >> rose: what's the disappointment. >> that this has not been this moment of regeneration of the restoration of america's soft power of american leadership? the world. now i think that is in part to be laid at obama's own doo that he is he's super cautis. thate won't take risks a go out there. that this enormous empsis on consensus building at crucial moments. and also i think he's learnedn
the job. but i have to say given the structural problem that i've described in the american political system, given the list of problems he inherited when he came into office i think you would have had to be a churchill on steroids to turn this around more rapidly. >> rose: so as he argues, the unemployment rate of 9.plus percentage was simply to be expected when you face the kind of economic challenge and catastrophe that he faced and there were not other solutions available that might have a different focus, that might have been able to create an economic growth that would do something about the unemployment rate? >> it's very hard to jue because you have to say what if, what woufk the altertive. so i'm not qualified to answer that question but certainly in terms of his leadersp?
the glol economy, g-8, g-20, and in foreign policy you know it's amazing how little people in europe talk about obama now. in 2008, you know, he was t third word in every european convsation. >> rose: is there generly an acceptance among the people you know-- both from the academy and from the world of political analysts-- that we are without questionitnessing a transformation from the united states being the number one power in the world to the united states being the number two power in the world? >> no, i wouldn't accept that. i would say we are clearly in a long transition to an increasingly post-western world. >> rose: okay, that's different? >> which is different. which is a world in which the great powers of the west-- the united states and europe-- can no longer call the shots on
their own. they can't set the agenda on their own. but i would not say that it's similarly in end of the men century and the beginning of the chinese century. i don't think that's ho the world is going to be. i think it's going to be a world of various competing great powers on a world scale. interestingly, though, there was a pew pole which asks exactly that question, will china become number one? and from memory i think something like one-third of the americans asked said yes it will. so the perception is out there. but what i think is more likely to happen is that in asia china seek it is hegemonic role. antherefore think the challenge to t united states will not be do accept that china takes over as number one to core but do you accept that china becomes the hegemonic power in
asia? and if armed conflict see to me probable, it is somewhere in asia. i mean, look at the south china seas where you have china staking an enormously expensive claim to territorial waters, cutting chinese naval vessels cutting the cables of vietnamese exploration ships. this is only 2011. we ain't seen thing yet. >> rose: so you're suggesting there will be a military conflict probably between china and some other country within... >> se smaller country. >> rose: within the region of influence of asia? >> precisely so. a country in which the united states has an interest. and it might be vietnam. and then the question to washington is what are you going to do about it? >> rose: suppose it's taiwan? >> well, suppose it's taiwan, extly so. fortunately everybody's been thinking about taiwan for a very long time so i think that is probably less likely than a
country like vietnam where the stakes are not so clear. >> as you know, henry kissinger and others argue that china has never been an international expansionist power. >> right. >> rose: it has not been an imperial power. it has been mostly about its own landmass and protecting itself. >> to which one answer might be "so why is it so big?" i mean, it is a vast territorial power which has, of course, significant ethnic minorities. they have large territories. >> rose: so you're suggesting that there is a history of chinese imperialism and any other historian who suggests that... >> no, no. i think that henry kissinger is clearly right. that it is not an eansionist power inhe sense thatfor
exame, russia was. expanding constantly but i think... >> rose: and certain after the war. >> but i think that what you see already is a chinese strategic doctrine and kissinger, i think, would not dispute this which stakes an ambitious claim to a spheref influence as we rightly said and that would provoke conflict so i i think we're entering very very difficult times >> rose: well, your oxford colleague neil ferguson suggests that nationalistic forces will overwhelm and that there will be a conflict between... in some way between the united states and china. >> well any historian who has looked at the history of the rise and fall of great powers would say such shifts are normally accompanied by war. that's the historical reality.
so what you have to ask is why should this case be different? and people say oh, because we have this huge economic interdependence, globalization and so forth. well, let me tell you, we have that in europe before 1914. it didn't prevent the great powers of europe going to war. so you have to comeack and say why should it be different? i think it could be different because we have this experience and therefore by state craft we can start now working to avoid it. >> rose: what should be the policy of a united states president with respect to china and with respect to asia. >> bring theemerging great powers into the structures of liberal international order which the united states above all but also europeans have built since 1945. that's exactly what we should be doing. we should want them at all the top tables of the g-20, of the i.m.f., of the world bank. >> rose: but we do wanthem at
the tables, do we not? you mean china? >> well, we want them to contribute. we want them pay. >> rose: we want them at the table talking about the future of north korea. we want them at a table that is trying to develop a common strategy vis-a-vis iran and its weapons policy. sffrjts yes, we want their help on those issues where we need their help. but whether we're actuly able to think about international order in a much more ambitious way and, of course, as you know the problem that that poses is-- and it's the kissinger problem-- how far are you prepared to compromise on your own values. issues like human rights and democracy. do we put those on the back burner? >>ose: we seem to have done that, don't we? >> i think... now where would you put... >> rose: where would you put the united states's objection to human rights policies in china and in iran and in other places? >> well, i think we have to go
on talking about human rights. >> rose: is that enoh, simply to talk about human rights? i mean shouldn't... if we value that as a universal value, and as you know those people in the arab sprinare saying "we don't want the united states telling us what to do, we want them to share our values and their values." >> yes. there's an issue in what you st said. the "our values." in my view, this is a really important thing. we cannot go on talking "as if." basically a group of white men in europe and united states, somewhere between 1600 and 2,000 worked the whole thing out. we work out what's the best way to do business and we're simply going to tell you. these ar western values and you just have to accept them wholesale. we have to get into a conversation about what genuinely universal values for 21st century would b and it has
to be a give-and-take. after all, china has, you know, one of the great civilizations of world history. and we have to be able to listen as well as to speak. >> rose: tell me what the united states could do for china that it's not trying to do? where could it take it that china wants to go and may not get there easily? membership? what? >> well, i would say try to make a go of the g-20. my own views that the g-8-- which is a classic product of the cold war west--. >> rose: right, used to be the g-7. >> used to be the g-7 and started with a library group of a w western finance ministers. >> rose: right. >> forge it. i think we would do a great service to humankind if we abolished the g-8. i regard it as an aning a roist in i can and... >> rose: but you like the g-20?
which has turkey and indonesia. >> it's not yet effective. and in a way barack obama with his biography, the united nations in one family, is predestined to be the american president who makes a reality of the g-20. but at the moment the g-20 is still not doing its business, it has no permanent secretary, it's not really effective. so i would say, you know, mr. president let's assume you get a secondterm, you've got five or six years. at the end of those five or six years let's have the g-20 as a really effective new institutions. >> rose: so you're saying not what's in it but what the institution can do if you give it the right kind of a focus and challenge. >> i mean, there's always somebody who's goi to be happy they're not in it, that's obvious. but it's good enough. it's one that has a lot of acceptance in a lot of the world which china, india, brazil, and south africa accept make it
work. >> rose: in your opinion china, >> >> yes. >> rose: you came away with what sense of their ambition? >> well, this is clearly a country with an enormous national will to... >> rose: solve internal problems? >> to develop, to become wealthy and powerful and to overcome what they see as a century and a half of national humiliation at the hands of the west. that's a huge drive. how it does that i think this is a country which sees many options and could go several different ways. i mean, the one thing almost everyone you speak in china agrees on the it's not going to have the same system in 20 year's time that it has today. whereas in the united states you
think you have basically the same system that you've had for a few centuries and more. >> i think ai wei wei had said this. that you do not expect reform to comele from the generation that's now takingower that replaces hu jintao and wen jiabao but you expect genuine reform to come from the next generation, which could mean literally eight ars from now. >> right. >> rose: because the next generation comes in in 2012. >> and so we have to knowuch more about who they are and what they're saying. we shod b translating everything they write and say so we understand it. and then we must hope they succeed. because if theyon't if ina enters a time of troubles with enormous tension, suppose their economy ceases to grow so effectively, the tensions between time and country, the vast numbers of migrant workers and so on, the housing bubble, inflation and so on what happens
we know again from history, when a dictatorship... still a dictatorship, authoritarian system, faces these vast internal tensions, faces internal challenges, they try to divert it. and so their answer will beo appeal to nationalism. >> rose: but the chinese are different than that, in fact. what they see as the opportunity for global prosperity is the capacity to deal with issues at home. they have profited and become a major economic powerecause they built up their manufacturing base by making products at that the rest of the world wanted. if they do that, that is a central key to doing something about the tension that exists within their fabric of the societbetween urban and rural, between the coast and in inner city. all ofhat. >> correct, that's a good outce. if it's not a zero-sum game. if it' a win-win. but in working out how to do
that, if it's not by just exporting to the west and having vast things with the west, there are a lo of difficult in developing their own domestic market but also making the big companies multinational companies. so what we're seeing in europe is chinese companies going in and investing strategically on a large scale. >> rose: witness a recent visit to london and to germany. >> about $16 billion euros deal with germany. in south africa... >> rose: two or three billion i think it was. >> but also let me give you just one example. chinese companies just bought the largest container port in greece. one of the largest container ports in europe. their gateway to europe. so 150 years ago therits and the french go in and take shanghai. now the boot is on the other foot. >> rose: yes. but that gives to the question is there some... is there
some... right now all we want to do is not engage conflict. what we want to do is expand our power so that if we need to exercise that leverage at some point we can. >> rose: indechltd and of course as you know the european union is a perfect invitation to do that because it isade up of 27 differentountes of sovereign states. >> rose: therefore the crisisin europe is an opportunity for china? >> exactly so. exactly so. and an opportunity they see because clearly if i'm greece or if i'm portugal and this comes back to the beginning of our conversation, and i'm in a deep mess and along comes the chinese knight in shining armor and says "we will invest billions in your struggling companies and buy your government bonds" i'm going to be very graftful to beijing. >> rose: you can say come right in, sit down and talk."
>> and if i may, what you get then is china lobby inside the... >> rose: that's exactly what i ant. leverage, leverage, leverage. >> and a difficult issue comes up a is the greek ministe or portuguese minister going to vote to steph the dalai lama? a strong motion on human rights in china? >> rose: and isn't it natural to do that? if you had power, it's natural to exercise it. n pursuit of your o objectives. >> this is... no historian should be surprised by this. >> rose: exactly. >> rose: but i think that w in the west in europe and the united states have to see the way history is growing and then attempt to influence it. as i say, engaging china in this conversation about how the world should be run. >> rose: but do you think... i mean, they've got the security and economic dialogue. do you think that dialogue is taking place now? is that engagement taking place now? >> well, i think it is taking
place and, by the way, i think barack obama understand this is, and hillary clinton understand this perfectly. every sign of understandinghe complexity... >> rose: are they acting on it perfectly? >> i think they're doing what they can. the problem is the human passions in both countries. in china you have these tensions and in many of the young chinese on the internet are more nationalist than their current rulers, ght? >> rose:ight. >> and in the united states, does the united states take kindly to the prospect of deine? you bet it doesn't. does the tea party... do many ordinary americans take kindly? who would, to the prospect of decline? so that even if you haveise and enlightened and far-sighted leaders on both sides the passions and tensions coming out from those societies may push them different directions. >> rose: speaking of barack obama, did you once write that your judgment of him was that
his order of priorities were security first, development second and human rights third? >> a poor third. >> rose: a poor third, you said. >> a poor third and i'm not the only pson have noticed that. and i see in his retoox the arab spring an attempt to address that because, after all, what you had on the streets of tunis and cairo was young arabs risking their lives for democracy and for human rights, often in a purely non-violent way. it was the civil rights movement that inspired barack obama as a young man but on the streets of tunis and cairo and he had to react to that. >> rose: and can he do that without damage to the relaonship with saudi arabia which he needs in terms of the glal economic... >> well, as everybody says, it's a balance between realism and idealism, between interests and values. >> rose: so the skill comes in how you balance that?
>> of course it is. of cours 's a difficult balancing act. but, again, you've put your finger on it. when this comes to saudi arabia what happens? >> and what happs when the chinese may have some... about vietnam. and here's the interesting question for me. because i believe that we have in this government nanhe chinese government and other governments smart, smart people who actually are aware of tse issues you know? i believe that. and are they acting on it? are they doing the kind of... for the fa of problems that have to do with today and tomorrow are they taking time to worry about the problems they that may very well be much more difficult ten years where push comes to shove? >> yeah. i'm afraid i wouldn't take such a charitable view of the leadership? europe which i think is failing us badly. >> rose: from sarkozy to cameron
to america? >> across the board collectively and individually. you know, europe faces... you mentioned crisis and opportunity. it faces both the biggest crisis european integration for a long time future historians may say what we saw in the first decade was the high point of eupean integration. one currency, low border controls. and on the other hand the biggest opportunity since 1989 which is the arab spring. we haven't talked about that. >> rose: that's my last subject because i wanted to talk about europe. sohe arab spring is here. doff the chine fear it's coming to them or t? you just turned. >> what is clear is that the leadership itself is in a very nervous state of mind. >> rose: why is it? it therefore becomes more nervous about putting... >> people like ai wei wei and... >> rose: yes.
they're nervous about it. why are they nervous? >> i mean, the obvious point to make is it's in the runup to a leadership transition with the communist party and so on. so i don't think that... i mean i think there are problems ahead in china but not... i may be proved wrong tomorrow and in some sense i'd be delighted to be proved wrong tomorrow but i don't think that's the case. meanwhile you had an extraordinary example of velvet revolution in egypt and tunisia. which are... like poland and abczechoslovakia and the fall of the berlin wall but even more remarkable because without all the precedence, without all the organizations and the moments that have precededt a this could go wrong in a matter of months.
>> rose: it could go from the arab spring to the arab autumn or the arab fall. >> the arab fall which, in this case, i think is rather nice. and the challenge here is in the first place to europe. there are immedia neighbors, they're just across the mediterranean from us and our response has been feeble. it's been pathetic. n this case. we can't expect america with all its economic and other problems and with afghanistan to pull our chestnuts out of the fire. >> rose: but on the question of nato, secretary gates suggested as much. >> rose: indeed. indeed. witness again, you know, a few weeks of military action on a very small scale in libya... >> rose: and all of a sudden... >> and we're running out of munitions and turning back to the united states as the land of last rest. but look, frankly, the military action in libya which i supported, reluctantly but i supported, i actually a
sideshow. the big question is can you turn egypt which had been historically at the heart of islamic culture and scholarship into a model and a beacon for threst of the arab world in. >> rose: and your answer is likely? unlikely? too soon to tell? >> look, i mean, there's amaze pog ten nshl egypt and then a highly educated young people, a strong middle-class, a great sense of history and tradition. but it could all go pear shaped between armyn the one hand which is now proving an unam big rouse friend of liberal democracy and the muslim brotherhood on the other hand and so we have to do what we can now. >> rose: the most important event so far of the 21st centur and it remains to be seen how it will find its way. >> well, i would say it's a most hopeful event of the 21st
century. >> rose: what's the largest event? >> china. >> rose: but that started before the 21st century. >> indeed. but in terms of the global trend through the 21st century that i call the renaissance of age ya. >> rose: we've been talking about the relationship among nations. the problem that face us for all nations have to do with food, water, fuel and climate. >> indeed. that set of global challenges which requires the big players-- china, the european union and the united states-- to act togeth but i would add to that list the communications revolution, the fact that there are... >> rose: social media. >> social media. there are... i mean, i was a skeptic about the claims for facebook and twitter, frankly, they were much oversold, until egypt. and in egypt it was facebook, twitter, mobile phone which is made the difference to that revotion.
and this potential sr. so huge and i've been trying to work out... i'm actually working on a book about global free speech in the age of the internet, working out how we can use that opportunity to transform world over the 21st seine century. >> rose: when you're done will you come back and tell us? >> with great pleasure. >> rose: conservation international was founded 24 years ago. its mission is to protect humanity through environmental initiative. the world is changing considerably with the industrialization of emerging nations such as china and brazil, a growing population headlined by the rise of a global middle-class is pushing the limit of natural resources. how to provide clean water, food and sustainable energy solutions are some of the questions that conservation international is beginning to answer. peter seligmann is one of the organization's founder and c.e.o., roger altman is the chairman of evercore partners, an investment banking company. he's a director on the board of conservation international. i am pleased to have both of
them here to talk about where we are in order... in the battle to save our planet. peter, welcome. >> thank you. thank u, charlie >>ose: so what is at the top of your agenda and how do you plan to pursue it? >> top ofhe agea is really addressing how doou redesign economic develop some that it values national capit. we have right now 6.9 billion people on earth. we're gointo go to 9.2 billion in four cades, we that's a 33% increase ipopulation. >> rose: more demand for food; water, fl. >> huge. we're going to have two billion people entering the middle-class mainly from asia. we're going to increase fossil fuel consumption by 70%. we're going to double o demand for food. we're going to double our demand for water and our demand for energy and we got a planet that's facing i can tings crisis in terms of biodiversity and we've got fisheries, the fish we like to eat, population is down by 90%. so we have to really rethink how
a nation develops. >> rose: you just heard a conversation i did with the senator as we taped this who was talking about a national crisis in terms of... something you have spoken to before. is this equivalent to that in terms of the peril if we don't do something about this enormous demand coming for more population and the dangers of climate... of global warming? >> wel that's the reason i'm involved. i agree withwhat former prime minister tony blair said to all of us lastight at our conservation international meeting which was despite so many of the immediate isis like the deficit and the debt in the united states, like afghanistan and iraq and somany others that are immediate in the headlines, the gravestoverall threat is the environment, as peter just described it, and particularly climate changand that's... i believe that, and that's why'm invved in it. >> rose:it's the greatest threat because it affects our
life on the planet? >> yes, because it has the greatest potential to affect humanity negatively. whether... >> rose: and how are we failing in terms of government initiative? we know about copenhagen, we know about cancun, we know about a whole range of sort of rhetoric focused on the issue. what's the reality of how governments are responding to the crisis you described? >> well, the reality, charlie,-- and peter should add to this-- some governments are responding impressively. i'll give you an example. norway, which has been a huge investor in thingslike anti-deforestation and other things like that. and some governments-- like ours here in the united states-- have been... have responded very weakly so far. but i think actually an approach that bob zell leg of the world bank describes as in this case the coalitions of the willing is
getting traction. and smaller deals as compared to 166 nations trying to agree on one approach-- succeeding kyoto, cancun and so forth--t ones are actually being done. >> rose: give an example. >> well, the anti-deforestation program which actually was an complishment at copenhagen in which conservation international has tremendous role in is actually making progress around the world. and peter, you should pick it up. >> rose: pick it up in context of what is the role of conservation international. >> so, you know, conservation international has a view of the world which is... kef receive a you are a... we have to have our head in the sky and feet in the mud. we have to understand the policy frameworks that drive business and drive development and we also need to show that they are... show how those linked to actually the way people live around the world. so in terms of the issue of climate change what we have
really cused on is that about 18% of all the c.o.-2 emissions come from the burning of forests. and probably another 15% come from the way farmland is farmed. so that's about a third of all the emissions that go into the atmosphere come from land use. >> rose: how much comes from tranortation? >> about 20%. so if you add all the cars, trucks, planes, ships in the world, put them all togetr they don't contrute as much c.o.-2 as the wayland is managed or mismanaged. so our focus has been on land and really what we're trying to figure out is how do you get developing nations to reduce derestation? and what's in it for countries not to deforest? and so that'sreally enhat word on in all of these... >> rose: okay but you work on it and come up with good ideas. what do you do then? >> what we do is we demonstrate... we believe in proof of concept. we believe that it's... you need
to work in indonesia and you need to work in brazil, you need to work in liberia and you need to work on the ground where a nation can see that we actually reduce deforestation we can have a different type of development path that's low carbon, that generates wealth and jobs. and so that's kind of the thesis. and so our challenge is how do we kind of create a market force that will engage that? and let me give you an example of that. so for years we've worked with individual companies, whether it's a mcdonald's or it's a wal-mart or whatever the company we work with a lot of different companies. recently there's been a coalition of companies called the consumer goods forum. it's 400 of the largest corporations in the world, a trillion dollars in annual sales and they came and said "you know what? 're worried about ou supply chain and the impact that climate change has on that supply chain. so what we're going to do is we're going to commit to zero deforestation. we will not sell products that actually result in deforesting
the world." and so together with other organizations we began to... we worked with them on, well, how do you actually take that big concept and actually mak it alit so there are four commodities that the consumer goods forum has said we will not sell unless they can be produced in a low-carbon way. palm oil, soy, beef, and paper. and so our work now is to be able to translate that concept into what does that mean in terms of a demand? so we've got large companies saying we are ready to pay a premium to a farmer that produce a product that actually does not result in deforestation. and that's not only the consumer goods forum as a whole... >> rose: how manyompanies are saying that now? >> there are 400 companies in the consumer goods forum and this is one of their plan and commitments to sustainability. wal-mart saying we are not going to sell any products in brazil that contribute to deforestation
in the amazon. so that drives behavior. because actually it becomes a maet force because companies that want to sell their product in a big operation like wal-mart are going to actlly try to figure out a way to make wal-mart like the way they produce. and we work hard on that and we're work closely with companies to get them engaged in therocess of improving their environmental performance and letting them know that it's good for eir customers and the customers want it, it's good for thr employeebecae it turns their employees on and is good for the shareholder because i creategreater value. >> ros talto me about the united states and its failure and then let's assess china. >> well, as a federal government... because a lot of the states have done some impressive things with renewable standards and so forth, including here in new york. but as a federal government, we've all seen over the last three or four years especially how difficult it's been to agree on a cap and trade regime or
another like approach, the most obvious of which would be to put a price on carbon through a tax. >> rose: wch i better than cap and trade? >> it's more direct and, yes, it is better. >> rose: it has the word "tax" attached to it. >> a carbon tax or a cap and trade hasn't been able to get much traction legislatively. obviously president obama proposed a cap-and-trade approach and it died rather quickly. but because the states in many cases... >> rose: could make hit in the senate? it probably wouldn't pass the currenhouse. butecause the states have done a lot of imprsive things-- and by the way it's not just california and new york, the biggest wind producer in the country is texas, for example-- and because corporations we just talked about are doing impressive things. there' actually-- and this is thpoint i tried to make about coalitions of the lling-- there's a lot occurng which is progress. but at the feder level not so much. now, of course we've made some big investments in what president obama calls "green
jobs." clean energy and there's actually a lot of money that's gone into that. >> rose: he was in north carolina recently just making that point. >> exactly. but in terms of what we... what we should do in the most basic thing of allould be to rise the price of carbon which discourages consumption and promotes consumption of cleaner technologies and fuels. we should do that and we have been unable to come to grips wi that. >> rose: okay. people argue with... at this table also that we focus too much in terms of all kinds of alteative sources of energy and this we ought to be focusing on conservation. >> it's... i think it's a good argument. the energy demand is going to go up for fossil fuels. we're going to go right through the united nations targets. we're going have an increase in energy consumption, fossil fuel consumption inhe next four decades of 70%. it's not going down; it's going up fast. there's going to be more renewables also. but we're going right through
the u.n. targets which means that we're no longer at the place where we can mitigate or prevent climate change. we are in the age of adaptation. and the only way you can adapt and the mos.. you have to be resilient. i mean, adaptation is resilience. and resilience really requires healthy ecosystems that actually can be protected and can withstand stress. >> rose: the global warming urgency set back by the controversy over some of the documentation that had been provided out of london? >> sure. sure it was. >> rose: in terms of what have? credibility or... >> well, you know, science in this country actually a tool of ideology and whatever your opinion is, you kind of use science. i had a conversation last week with bill gates, two weeks ago with bill gates and we were talking about why did his opinion... how is his opinion of climate change shift andhy
was he such a strong believer in climate change? and he said "i stopped throng the ideology, i just lookedt e science." and it was actually the other night when we were talking with tony blair. he was asked a questionbout the science of climate change and he said "look, every science advisor i had said that climate change was real. every science advisor for every major nation on earth said climate change is real." he said "they might all b wrong bu they're all saying the same thing. so what we need to kind of t away from is that deba. because the fact is... >> rose: but why does the debate linger? >> well, it lingers because, as i say, science is partially ideology. >> rose: mitt romney got in political trouble with some people... you know,ith rush limbaugh and others by suggesting that there's a human contribution to global warming. >> let me just put it to you... let me just... the conversation i had with leaders that are
uncertain about the science, what i sty them is i'm not a scientist so i'mnot going to get into a scientific argument. but let's look at it this way. if there was a 1% chance that the plane you were getting into this morning to fly here was going torash, would you get on that plane? the answer is always no. >> rose: right. >> okay. so let's assume that there's only a 20% chance that climate change science is right. do you take the risk of not responding to it? and wh you put it tt w, the answer is, actually we better deal with it. and the good news is that we can deal with it because it's not just about raising costs. it's actually about diversification of energy sources. it's actually aut creating new jobs. it's actually about protecting ecosystems that give us our food and our water and our soils and pollinators. and we have to get away from kind o focusing on, like, 10% that we disagree on and focus on
the 90% that we actually agree on. >> also, also there's a perception around this country in a l of places that addressing climate chang represents a tradeoff between that and economic well-being. so that if we take some of the steps that we've all debated in the public in recent years that will actually cost jobs, cost income, made it harder for a country which is already struggling mightily in economic terms. now, most of the corporations we talked about just now with the wal-marts and the starbucks and mcdonald's and coca-cola, pepsi, they don't see it that way. but there is a grass-roots sense that there's a tradeoff. there's levels of ideology like mitt romney getting in trouble but there's levels of kitchen table stuff where a lot of people think if we do that it will mean fewer jobst a time when there aren't many a it will be less income at a time when there isn't much o it. i don't ree that and a lot of the businesses we just talked to don't agree but there is a that view and that's one of the
reasons why the idea of a carbon tax and cap and trade is seen as inanymore mickable to growth and recovery because people think that will cost our economy more. >> re: you watch politics closely. do you think the environment will be high priority issue in the 2012 election? or not? or economic times and joblessness so pervasive? >> i think it' the latter. >> rose: i do, too. >> i think it's the latter. we have... we're he midst of such a slow painful and difficult recovery, as you and i have talked about many times. it's unrealistic to think that that won't be the first, second, third, and fourth issues next fall when the presidential election is... >> rose: at its peak. >> yes, especially jobs. especially jobs. i don't think it's realistic to think that the environmental issues-- and i'm not sure if peter agrees with me, we haven't
discussed this-- are going to be truly central at a time when we have such economic trouble. >> i think that what we have to begin to understand is that the deficit is a freight train coming right at us. and we've got to deal with it. >> rose: yes. >> but we have to be really careful that when you jump off of that track you don't jump into that freight train that's coming at you which is going to be kind of the loss of a fresh water, the loss of agricultural productivity. we've got a huge issue. every ar for the next 40 years we're going to have 80 million new mouths to feednd we don't have the food in the right places. and we're suffering from enormous droughts and flos. there's a 40% reduction in the wheat crop in russia last year. we face huge challenges with food andwater and pollinators and ey affect people and the affect them in how they live and it's economic and a national security threat. and that's what we have to understand.
we can't just avoid one freight train and mp in the path of another. >> rose: it is getting on the g-8 and g-20 agenda. >> they're therend nations that are developing and emerging... we have a board member, a fellow board member of c.i. who's a president of botswana. his name is ian comma. and in february of next year, he is hosting with us a summit of suaharan heads of state talk about how do you build a healthy sustainable economy that makes certain you have agricultural productivity, enough water and you protect the ecosystems that are the suppliers those commodities. and that's a big deal around the world. >>ose: thank you for coming. conservation international. peter. >> thank you, chlie.